Tue 22 July, 2014

14:16 Firefox 31 Released» Slashdot
An anonymous reader writes Mozilla has released version 31 of its Firefox web browser for desktops and Android devices. According to the release notes, major new features include malware blocking for file downloads, automatic handling of PDF and OGG files if no other software is available to do so, and a new certificate verification library. Smaller features include a search field on the new tab page, better support for parental controls, and partial implementation of the OpenType MATH table. Firefox 31 is also loaded with new features for developers. Mozilla also took the opportunity to note the launch of a new game, Dungeon Defenders Eternity, which will run at near-native speeds on the web using asm.js, WebGL, and Web Audio. "We're pleased to see more developers using asm.js to distribute and now monetize their plug-in free games on the Web as it strengthens support for Mozilla's vision of a high performance, plugin-free Web."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

14:16 Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)» Slashdot
Ben Blair is CTO of MarkITx, a company that brokers used commercial IT gear. This gives him an excellent overview of the marketplace -- not just what companies are willing to buy used, but also what they want to sell as they buy new (or newer) equipment. Ben's main talking point in this interview is that hardware has become so commoditized that in a world where most enterprise software can be virtualized to run across multiple servers, it no longer matters if you have the latest hardware technology; that two older servers can often do the job of one new one -- and for less money, too. So, he says, you should make sure you buy new hardware only when necessary, not just because of the "Ooh... shiny!" factor" (Alternate Video Link)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

14:05 New memoir from David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets)» Boing Boing
Bauhaus and Love and Rockets bassist David J has a new memoir due out in the fall! Here are some details about the book, titled Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction: Read the rest
14:00 Canada launches plan to improve Internet in remote areas» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Semi-retired Morton surfs the Internet while onboard his houseboat docked at Le Port De Plaisance de Lachine, a marina in MontrealBy Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian government on Tuesday invited remote communities across the country that don't have high-speed Internet access to make a claim on some of the C$305 million ($284 million) it plans to spend over the next three years to upgrade access. The government's Connecting Canadians plan aims to deliver high-speed Internet - judged to be speeds faster than 5 megabits per second (5 Mbps) - to 280,000 households that it says sit below that line. The plan "will still leave many Canadians struggling to catch up with our global counterparts when it comes to broadband access, reliability, and speed," said Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca. The country's telecom regulator wrote to telecom companies BCE Inc, Telus Corp, and Manitoba Telecom Services last month, concerned they would miss an end-August deadline to complete remote access projects already underway.

14:00 The World's Most Badass ... Vespa Scooter?!» Neatorama

Photo: C. Galliani/Wikimedia

Quick, what does the word "Vespa" bring to mind? If you say "cute lil' scooter," you probably haven't seen this image above of the Vespa 150 TAP (for Troupes Aéro Portées), a Vespa scooter modified for use with the French paratroopers in 1956.

It's probably safe to say that this is the deadliest Vespa in the world. The military scooter is powered by a single-cylinder 146 cc two-stroke engine. It sports a M20 75 mm recoilless rifle, US-made light anti-armor cannon, and storage for some ammos. The scooter would be parachute-dropped from airplanes, accompanied by a two-man team who'd scoot along in absolutely menacing style.

13:52 China and Macs power Apple's growth as iPad demand wanes» Engadget RSS Feed
Apple had a very strong second quarter. iPhone sales were up significantly over Q2 2013 and the company pocketed $700 million more in profit than it did during the same period last year, even though iPad sales slipped slightly. The company's third...
13:27 Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo AltoBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday. Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook. “It's a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court. The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.

13:23 Where You Glance Can Reveal Feelings of Love or Lust» LiveScience.com
There may be something to the cliché of lovebirds gazing into each other's eyes, new research suggests. A glance at a person's face tends to indicate romantic love, whereas looking at a person's body is associated with feelings of sexual desire.
13:22 The cloud is Microsoft's biggest money maker as it reconsiders hardware and content» Engadget RSS Feed
We always want to know how Microsoft is doing, but today we're paying especially close attention: The company just released its earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter, the first full quarter that new CEO Satya Nadella was on the job. Also, let's not...
13:17 Recap: Boing Boing and Noise Pop vinyl event!» Boing Boing
On Friday, Boing Boing and Noise Pop were thrilled to celebrate "The Art and Allure of the Record Album" at the Oakland Museum of California! Read the rest
13:10 Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?» Slashdot
Lasrick writes: MIT's Jeanne Guillemin looks at the recent blunders with smallpox and H5N1 at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to chronicle the fascinating history of smallpox eradication efforts and the attempts (thwarted by Western scientists) to destroy lab collections of the virus in order to make it truly extinct. "In 1986, with no new smallpox cases reported, the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, resolved to destroy the strain collections and make the virus extinct. But there was resistance to this; American scientists in particular wanted to continue their research." Within a few years, secret biological warfare programs were discovered in Moscow and in Iraq, and a new flurry of defensive research was funded. Nevertheless, Guillemin and others believe that changes in research methods, which no longer require the use of live viruses, mean that stocks of the live smallpox virus can and should finally be destroyed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13:01 Weird! Robot 'Emotions' Mirrored by Humans» LiveScience.com
Humans will subconsciously mimic the facial expressions of android robots, a new study finds.
13:00 Deadly suicide blast hits Benghazi army base» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
At least four killed in eastern Libyan city that has seen regular clashes between militias and security forces.
13:00 Downton Abbey EP Talks 'High-Stakes' Season 5, Mary's Long Road to the Altar» TVLine » TVLine
“Things are changing” at Downton Abbey, according to the fifth season’s first promo, a sentiment executive producer Gareth Neame echoes to TVLine. RELATED TVLine Items: A Walking Dead Actress Joins Downton Abbey “In the new season, we have the high-stakes drama, the laugh-out-loud comedy and the romance,” Neame promises. “We have all of the characters doing the things people love to see […]
13:00 Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man» Neatorama

(Maximumble/Chris Hallbeck)

He's Spider-Man. Did you think that was just a costume? Nah, man. He was bitten by an actual spider. If you want to survive, you should have gotten caught by Charles Xavier. And you really don't want to get caught by Assassin Bug Man.

13:00 Yo and the app hype machine» Engadget RSS Feed
Yo is a notifications app where all it does is send the word "Yo" to your friends. That's it. Just "Yo." Of course, silly single-purpose apps like these are a dime a dozen -- remember those fart apps of old? -- but the thing that sets Yo apart is...
12:57 Graceland Sneak Peek: With Paige Missing, Is Mike Too Hot to Handle?» TVLine » TVLine
This week on USA Network’s Graceland (Wednesday, 10/9c), Jakes doesn’t waste any time relaying the bad news that Paige has gone missing on his watch — and we’ve got your first look at Mike’s “hot” reaction.  VIDEO Exclusive Suits Sneak Peek: Louis Gives Donna the Greatest Gift of All When last we tuned in, Paige and Jakes (played […]
12:45 Sixth grade science project surprises conservationists» Boing Boing

Lionfish have become an invasive challenge along the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. Lauren Arrington's science fair project demonstrated that invasive lionfish can survive in water far less saline than previously thought.

Read the rest
12:38 Science and Sensationalism: Is Japan’s Fuji in a “Critical State” for an Eruption?» WIRED
Mt. Fuji might be gearing up for an eruption, but can we really trace it back to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake?

12:33 eBay brings its RedLaser barcode-scanner app to Google Glass» Engadget RSS Feed
You might know eBay as the website where you can buy a rare NES game for a hundred grand, but the company also has its own barcode scanner, called RedLaser. It's been out on Android and iOS for a while, and now the company is bringing it to Google...
12:24 Sneak Peek: Almost Royal Finale Serves Up a (Macabre?) Music Video» TVLine » TVLine
They may be Almost Royal, but do Georgie and Poppy have music in their blood? That’s what the siblings will find out when they explore Nashville during the season finale airing this Saturday (BBC America, 10/9c). RELATED Intruders Trailer: New BBC America Drama Looks For Life After Death Inspired by Music City, Poppy (played by Amy Hoggart) […]
12:17 Earth and Planets Make Strange, Exquisite Noises | Video Compilation » LiveScience.com
Created by lightning, ‘whistlers’ travel along Earth's magnetic field lines from hemisphere to hemisphere. Jupiter’s charged particles ‘sing’ across its magnetosphere (recorded by Voyager).
12:12 Baltic Sea Turned into 'Mirror' in Photo from Space» LiveScience.com
Scandinavia and the southern Baltic Sea light up in a new photograph taken from the International Space Station in June. The picture gives a detailed view of the coastline and delicate barrier islands.
12:11 Covert Affairs Casts Lynn Collins as 'Formidable' Russian Agent» TVLine » TVLine
Is Annie Walker about to get caught in a “nyet”? Perhaps, seeing how Covert Affairs has cast X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s Lynn Collins in the recurring role of a “formidable” Russian agent who’ll continuously cross paths with Piper Perabo’s protagonist spy, TVLine has learned exclusively. RELATED Fall TV 2014: Your Handy Calendar of 99 Season and Series […]
12:10 UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters» Slashdot
nk497 (1345219) writes "Broadband customers are overwhelmingly choosing not to use parental-control systems foisted on ISPs by the government — with takeup in the single-digits for three of the four major broadband providers. Last year, the government pushed ISPs to roll out network-level filters, forcing new customers to make an "active" decision about whether they want to use them or not. Only 5% of new BT customers signed up, 8% opted in for Sky and 4% for Virgin Media. TalkTalk rolled out a parental-control system two years before the government required it and has a much better takeup, with 36% of customers signing up for it. The report, from regulator Ofcom, didn't bother to judge if the filters actually work, however."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12:10 Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code» Slashdot
rjmarvin writes: Microsoft Research is testing a new method for predicting errors and bugs while developers write code: biometrics. By measuring a developer's eye movements, physical and mental characteristics as they code, the researchers tracked alertness and stress levels to predict the difficulty of a given task with respect to the coder's abilities. In a paper entitled "Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development," the researchers summarized how they strapped an eye tracker, an electrodermal sensor and an EEG sensor to 15 developers as they programmed for various tasks. Biometrics predicted task difficulty for a new developer 64.99% of the time. For a subsequent tasks with the same developer, the researchers found biometrics to be 84.38% accurate. They suggest using the information to mark places in code that developers find particularly difficult, and then reviewing or refactoring those sections later.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12:00 The Summit Scaling Subculture of Highpointing» Neatorama

Highpointing is a sport, or hobby, in which people aim to climb the highest point in different geographical areas, like the highest point in all 50 states, or the highest points in one’s home country or continent, or even the world. There’s even a club for highpointers where they can share adventures and advice. But for American highpointers who wish to scale the highest peaks of all 50 states, be aware that some are higher than others. Thomas Harper explored some of those peaks and reported his experiences at Atlas Obscura.

To take part in the journey, one does not have to be an expert mountain climber or outdoorsman. Of the 50 state highpoints, 30 are simple drive-ups and/or require a hike of less than two miles. However, since most of the points are “off the beaten path,” a guidebook or article and a good sense of direction are necessary.

Reaching the loftier and more remote highpoints, though, requires longer hikes. However, most of them can be done in one day by someone in good shape. For people getting fit, these hikes make great goals to measure one’s progress. While climbing Mount Marcy in New York’s Adirondacks, I nearly gave up at mile 6 of the 7.2 mile hike, but I saw the summit just one mile away and 500 feet up. I did say to myself, “You should have eaten more vegetables.” Now 30 pounds lighter from that day, I wish to conquer even more challenging peaks.

Mount Marcy is 5,343 feet above sea level. In contrast, it’s not so hard to visit Mount Sunflower, which is the highest point in Kansas. We all know that Kansas is flatter than a pancake, and Mount Sunflower, on the western edge of the state, is close to the lowest point in Colorado.

See more state highpoints, and read about the people who do this, at Atlas Obscura. The sidebar has individual articles about many of the peaks.  

(Images credit: Thomas Harper)

11:59 New plugin-free web games run (almost) as well as their desktop counterparts» Engadget RSS Feed
So far, sophisticated 3D web games have typically required either a plugin (think Quake Live) or a special environment where they can run native code. While those are just dandy, they aren't really web games, are they? That's going to change shortly,...
11:54 Kerry urges Hamas to accept Gaza truce offer» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
US top diplomat backs Egypt's proposal as Israel says world must hold Hamas accountable for rejecting ceasefire offers.
11:49 Hit songs, analyzed by their contemporary obscurity» Boing Boing
"Come Down, Ma Evening Star" was a huge hit in 1903, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing it. But time has not been kind to the hits of Clay Aiken, either. [via Kottke]

Let's see if we can get the official youtube video of Clay's 2003 #1 hit "This is the Night" to 5,000 views by sundown! (It's at 4,954, though, so I'm not sure I fancy its chances.)

11:45 Turkey arrests policemen for 'spying'» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
About 67 serving and former top police officers seized for espionage and illegal wire-tapping, Turkish prosecutors say.
11:41 Mellow electronica video shows what happens in your computer when you go right ahead and just spill juice all over it» Boing Boing
11:39 Mini-Drones to Night-Vision Phones: 5 Cool Military Tech Gadgets» LiveScience.com
Electronics that dissolve on the battlefield and tiny, hummingbird-size drones that perform aerial reconnaissance are just a few of the sophisticated technologies the U.S. military is developing these days.
11:37 Computer game names "almost universally terrible"» Boing Boing
"Assassin Heroes Warhammer: Craft World War" might be an extreme example of a grossly trope-strewn game name, but the business has plenty more like it to offer.
11:32 Nigerian email swindlers using more sophisticated hacks» Boing Boing
It's not so much that the scammers themselves are becoming better at their jobs, just that off-the-shelf scripts are so much more powerful. [NYT]
11:29 Spy toys at the CIA museum» Boing Boing
3033350-slide-pigeoncamera1A gallery at Fast Co Design has some of the cool tools of spycraft.
11:28 Apple TV now auto-plays the next episode of whatever you're watching on Netflix» Engadget RSS Feed
When you start chugging a series, it's hard to stop, even for trips to the bathroom, or going to work, or catching up on sleep. It's a problem that Netflix loves to exploit, only giving you a few seconds before offering up the next episode of...
11:24 Florida men mistake corpse for mannequin» Boing Boing

Some Florida men found a "mannequin" hanging in a vacant garage they were cleaning out. "Israel Lopez and Adam Hines told authorities they thought the former renters had left a "Halloween-like" hoax. Lopez hauled the debris to the landfill while Hines continued cleaning."

11:18 Philanthropist Donates $650 Million for Psychiatric Research» LiveScience.com
A Los Angeles philanthropist is donating $650 million to improve understanding of the genetic and molecular causes of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses.
11:15 TVLine Items: Ken Jeong Plays Himself on MTV, James Garner Tribute and More» TVLine » TVLine
Ken Jeong is set to inhabit a very familiar role. The Community actor will star as himself in MTV’s coming-of-age comedy pilot Ken Jeong Made Me Do It, per The Hollywood Reporter. RELATED Community‘s Danny Pudi on Abed’s Impressions, Marvel Gigs The project centers around 22-year-old Andy, who accidentally rear-ends Jeong’s car after he catches […]
11:10 Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?» Slashdot
New submitter rongten (756490) writes I am managing a computer lab composed of various kinds of Linux workstations, from small desktops to powerful workstations with plenty of RAM and cores. The users' $HOME is NFS mounted, and they either access via console (no user switch allowed), ssh or x2go. In the past, the powerful workstations were reserved to certain power users, but now even "regular" students may need to have access to high memory machines for some tasks. Is there a sort of resource management that would allow the following tasks? To forbid a same user to log graphically more than once (like UserLock); to limit the amount of ssh sessions (i.e. no user using distcc and spamming the rest of the machines, or even worse, running in parallel); to give priority to the console user (i.e. automatically renicing remote users jobs and restricting their memory usage); and to avoid swapping and waiting (i.e. all the users trying to log into the latest and greatest machine, so have a limited amount of logins proportional to the capacity of the machine). The system being put in place uses Fedora 20, and LDAP PAM authentication; it is Puppet-managed, and NFS based. In the past I tried to achieve similar functionality via cron jobs, login scripts, ssh and nx management, and queuing system — but it is not an elegant solution, and it is hacked a lot. Since I think these requirements should be pretty standard for a computer lab, I am surprised to see that I cannot find something already written for it. Do you know of a similar system, preferably open source? A commercial solution could be acceptable as well.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

11:05 Hacker Musician Turns E-Waste Into an Awesome Instrument» WIRED
We tend to think of musical instruments in fixed terms: that’s a guitar, this is a saxophone, that’s a synthesizer. Colten Jackson, however, plays an instrument that's hard to classify.

11:00 One Simple Chart Shows 72 Uses For Common Household Products» Neatorama

People have been using common substances like citrus juices, oils and vinegars for cooking, as household cleaners and personal grooming products, for centuries, and many of the store bought products we buy everyday use these items as their core ingredients.

However, these store bought products also contain chemicals and toxins we’re better off leaving on the store shelves, and using core ingredients also means saving money.

This simple yet informative chart takes household products back to the old school, showing dozens of great uses for everyday products like baking soda, white vinegar and coconut oil.

The chart is missing amount recommendations for each use, but they're pretty easy to figure out with a little help from the all-knowing Google.

72 Uses for Simple Household Products To Save Money & Avoid Toxins

10:56 What Happens Next, The Good Wife: Will Alicia Become State's Attorney?» TVLine » TVLine
TVLine hits rewind on the TV season’s biggest “What Happens Next” finales, then invites you to predict the cliffhanger outcomes Necessity may be the mother of invention, but reinvention proved the mother of sensationally gripping drama on Season 5 of The Good Wife. RELATED TCA Awards 2014: Good Wife, OITNB, True Detective, Veep, Breaking Bad, […]
10:54 Chinese city 'sealed off' after plague death» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Parts of Yumen city in northwestern Gansu province quarantined after resident died of bubonic plague.
10:54 Wacom's sketching app finally arrives on Android, Kindle Fire and Windows 8» Engadget RSS Feed
Wacom loves doodlers almost as much as serious artists, but its Paper-esque sketching app was limited to iOS devices only. That changes from today, now that the company has launched Windows, Android and Kindle Fire versions of Bamboo Paper. Thanks to...
10:36 Suits Sneak Peek: Louis Gives Donna the Greatest Gift of All» TVLine » TVLine
On this Wednesday’s Suits (USA Network, 9/8c), Louis decides to repay Donna for helping him get rid of his stage fright by… giving her a Litt Up mug? While that may not seem like the most special gift, the following exclusive video proves it’s what’s inside the cup that really matters. RELATED Suits Boss on […]
10:35 Lego: Batman's Tumbler» Boing Boing

The Lego Super Heroes model of Batman's Tumbler with Batman and Joker minifies will be available September 1 for $200, or right now from scalpers for $850-$1150 (caveat emptor). Read the rest

10:35 Fun as Hell, a Kindle Single by LJ Kummer» Boing Boing

LJ Kummer's Fun as Hell is a great kindle single. A fast read about a journalist and his girlfriend who take a training course intended to show civilians what war is all about.

Read the rest
10:31 Once Upon a Time Casting Another Frozen Role — Who Should Fill It?» TVLine » TVLine
A fourth character from filmdom’s Frozen will pop up on ABC’s Once Upon a Time this season. RELATED Once Upon a Time Mystery: Who Is Elizabeth Mitchell Playing…? Previously, the fairy tale-infused drama cast Georgina Haig (Fringe), Elizabeth Lail and Scott Michael Foster (Greek) as Queen Elsa, Anna and Kristoff, all in recurring roles. Now, TVLine has […]
10:23 LG's rollable TVs are (predictably) very flexible» Engadget RSS Feed
Remember when LG announced that it had managed to create a rollable 18-inch display? Well, here's the proof: a very much flexible OLED display. The resolution might not be there yet (1,200 x 810, alas) but the hopes and dreams of a picnic-blanket TV...
10:21 High-Salt Diet May Double Diabetics' Heart Disease Risk» LiveScience.com
It's not only sugar that raises alarms in diabetes. Having a high-salt diet may double the risk of developing heart disease in people with diabetes, according to a new study from Japan.
10:19 Video: The X-Files' Dana Scully likes science!» Boing Boing

"She never gave up, even when the aliens put a chip in her neck," says creator Ryan English. (via Dangerous Minds)

10:19 Does the Internet Influence What We Find Attractive?» LiveScience.com
Whether or not you have access to the Internet may affect what you find desirable in a partner, a new study finds.
10:18 Bats Use Polarized Light to Set Their Internal Compasses» WIRED
We know that bats use echolocation to navigate obstacles and hunt prey, but new research shows that they base their internal compass on the orientation of the setting sun's scattered light.

10:07 Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in BrusselsA federal judge rejected Google Inc's bid to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission. Saying his decision was a close call, U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday night that Google must face breach of contract and fraud claims by users of Android-powered devices who had downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play. Other parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, including claims brought on behalf of account users who switched to non-Android devices from Android devices after Google had changed its privacy policy in 2012 to allow the commingling. "Like Rocky rising from Apollo's uppercut in the 14th round, plaintiffs' complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand," Grewal wrote in a 28-page decision, referring to the film series starring Sylvester Stallone as the boxer Rocky Balboa.

10:05 Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS» Slashdot
New submitter I Ate A Candle (3762149) writes Tails OS, the Tor-reliant privacy-focused operating system made famous by Edward Snowden, contains a number of zero-day vulnerabilities that could be used to take control of the OS and execute code remotely. At least that's according to zero-day exploit seller Exodus Intelligence, which counts DARPA amongst its customer base. The company plans to tell the Tails team about the issues "in due time", said Aaron Portnoy, co-founder and vice president of Exodus, but it isn't giving any information on a disclosure timeline. This means users of Tails are in danger of being de-anonymised. Even version 1.1, which hit public release today (22 July 2014), is affected. Snowden famously used Tails to manage the NSA files. The OS can be held on a USB stick and leaves no trace once removed from the drive. It uses the Tor network to avoid identification of the user, but such protections may be undone by the zero-day exploits Exodus holds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10:02 Shape-Shifting Wings, From Soviet War Planes to Top Gun’s Tomcat» WIRED
Take off. Rise. Soar. Bank. Turn. Stall. Swoop. Dive. Land. For each of the different kinds of flying an airplane has to do, there’s an ideal shape and configuration for its wings. Even though bird-like flappability isn’t feasible with struts and steel, engineers since the dawn of aviation have been trying to make wings that […]

10:00 Drawings That Practically Define "Photorealism"» Neatorama

Malaysian artist Monica Lee may spend up to a month on a single drawing until she decides it is complete, but the result is photorealist nirvana. 

“I like to challenge myself with complex portraits, especially people with freckles or beard,” says the artist. Lee gives her father credit for her love of the realism genre, as he was a photographer by trade.

Follow Monica Lee on Instagram and Facebook.  

09:56 A newer kind of web tracking is almost impossible to stop» Engadget RSS Feed
You may think you're thwarting advertisers and other nosy web citizens by blocking cookies and invoking Do Not Track whenever possible, but that apparently isn't good enough. Researchers have just documented a newer web tracking technique, canvas...
09:51 Beetles kill Beatle's memorial tree» Boing Boing

The George Harrison Memorial Tree in Los Angeles, planted in memory of the Beatles guitarist, was killed by beetles.

09:49 Bodies of MH17 victims arrive in Kharkiv» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Train carrying remains of MH17 downing victims arrives in government-controlled Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
09:43 Video: cats in movies» Boing Boing

Cats in movies with a soundtrack of The Cure's "Love Cats."

09:35 Cast for Syfy's Killjoys Includes Warehouse 13, Brothers & Sisters Alums» TVLine » TVLine
Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13), Luke Macfarlane (Brothers & Sisters) and British actress Hannah John-Kamen (The Hour) have landed key roles in Killjoys, an original space adventure drama being produced for Syfy and Space. VIDEO Syfy’s 12 Monkeys Trailer From the producers of Orphan Black and penned by Lost Girl creator Michelle Lovretta, Killjoys follows a […]
09:30 Desert Woodrats Use Gut Microbes for Detox» Neatorama

Ed Yong tells of a case in which a species leapfrogs thousands of years of evolution by getting microbes to do it for them. A certain population of the desert woodrat eats the creosote bush, which contains a deadly toxin, and thrives on it. The woodrats themselves did not develop immunity to the poison, but have gut microbes that break down the creosote. Microbiologist Kevin Kohl ascertained this by comparing desert woodrats who live where the creosote bush grows and woodrats who live where there are no such plants.

To confirm that these microbes are important, Kohl killed them with antibiotics. Afterwards, the woodrats could all still eat normal laboratory chow. But when they were fed with creosote, they couldn’t tolerate the resin and lost a lot of weight. Within two weeks, all of them had lost 10 percent of their weight and were removed from the experiment. When Kohl removed their microbes, the experienced woodrats couldn’t even handle the tiny levels of creosote that their naive cousins can. “[It] effectively removed 17,000 years of ecological and evolutionary experience with creosote compounds,” he wrote.

Conversely, Kohl managed to transform naive woodrats into creosote-busters by infusing them with the microbes of their more experienced cousins. He did this by grinding up the faeces of the experienced individuals and feeding it to the naive ones, mimicking what the rodents naturally do in the wild.

The beauty of this discovery is how one can instantly turn a woodrat into a poison-eating machine just by introducing the right microbe. There are other cases where gut microbes allow an animal to eat something they normally shouldn’t be able to, including commercial livestock. How long will it be before we begin farming all sorts of designer microbes for our own biomes, for purposes we can’t even conceive now? Read more about this research at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

(Image credit: Kohl et al, 2014)

09:27 Apple 'iTime' patent details a modular smartwatch with sensors in the band» Engadget RSS Feed
A new Apple patent for smartwatch designs and features is bound to fuel more speculation about an incoming "iWatch," even though such claims often amount to nothing. Still, the patent is interesting on its own merits. One version shows a receptacle...
09:18 Antioxidant Supplements Don't Fight Cancer, Research Suggests» LiveScience.com
Although antioxidant have been thought to fight cancer, emerging research shows they don't have this effect. Now, scientists are trying to explain why antioxidants may not lower people's cancer risk.
09:05 Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same» Slashdot
Nom du Keyboard writes: After seeing a drop in my DVD service from Netflix I got a customer service representative tonight to confirm that Netflix has ceased processing DVD returns on Saturdays nationwide. And that they did this without notifying their customers, or reducing prices to compensate for the reduced service. Given that the DVD selection still far outstrips their streaming selection, this may be news to others like myself who don't find streaming an adequate replacement for plastic discs. My experience up until recently, unlike Netflix's promise of a 1-3 day turnaround at their end which gives them lots of wiggle room to degrade service even further, had been of mailing in a DVD on day one, having them receive it and mail out my next selection on day two, and receiving it on day three. Now with them only working 5 days and many U.S. Post Office holidays, they're still getting the same money for significantly less. The Netflix shipping FAQ confirms the change, and a spokesperson said, "Saturdays have been low volume ship days for us."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

09:05 MIT' Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati» Slashdot
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. If scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

09:04 Jakarta governor wins Indonesian election» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Election commission declares Joko Widodo as next president but main rival Prabowo Subianto calls election 'unfair'.
09:00 This Is Going to Hurt Me a Lot More Than It's Going to Hurt You» Neatorama

(Fowl Language Comics/Brian Gordon)

The wise philosopher Bill Cosby once said, "Parents are not interested in justice. They want quiet." This was funny before I had children. Then it became funny and painful.

One of the characters in "Harrison Bergeron," a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, is handicapped with a device that shatters his attention every 20 seconds:

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

Being a parent is like being George.

09:00 Samsung's curved, 105-inch 4K TV can be yours for just $120,000» Engadget RSS Feed
There were so many TVs on display back at CES, that you'd be forgiven if they all blended together. So allow us to give you a recap: The Samsung UN105S9W was, in the company's own words, the "world's first, largest and most curved 105-inch curved UHD...
08:55 Gunshots fired at Al Jazeera bureau in Gaza » AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Shots fired into Al Jazeera's office in Gaza, a day after Israeli FM said Israel will work to close down the network.
08:52 Ratings: Dome Drops, MasterChef Hits High, Hotel Hell Returns Down» TVLine » TVLine
Fox’s Hotel Hell reopened on Monday night to 4 million total viewers and a 1.5 demo rating, down 20 and 21 percent from its previous premiere as well as off from that season’s finale (4.4 mil/1.8). Opening Fox’s night, MasterChef (5.8 mil/2.1) added some eyeballs plus three tenths in the demo, hitting a season high. […]
08:50 O2 Travel add-on offers unlimited data in Europe for £2 per day» Engadget RSS Feed
Roaming charges aren't something you should be worrying about on holiday, as most major UK carriers are well aware. Vodafone will let you use your usual call, text and data allowances abroad for as little as £2, while Three lets you do the same for...
08:41 Tour schedule for XKCD "What If?" book» Boing Boing

Randall Munroe will take his hotly anticipated book, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, on the road in September: Boston, NYC, SEA, SFO, Berkeley and LA!

08:36 Amazon has a new service for managing payments, named Amazon Wallet» Engadget RSS Feed
Tried Apple's Passbook and Google's Wallet and not feeling satisfied? Perhaps Amazon's flavor of mobile payment app will strike your fancy. It's also named Wallet, and it arrived in beta form on the Google Play store recently. Like Apple and Google's...
08:30 Japanese Cosplayers Who Strive For Maximum Accuracy» Neatorama

(Image Via kasumi_s2461)

Cosplay has evolved from faithful adaptation to original creations by cosplayers that make their way into the pages of comic books, the students truly having become the masters.

Creativity is key, and there’s plenty of room for interpretation in the cosplay world, and yet there are many cosplayers who strive to look exactly like the original work that inspired their costume.

(Image Via RockTheFuture)

Japanese cosplayers have been posting side-by-side comparison shots to Twitter, showing off how close they can come to looking like the source material, and needless to say they nailed it!

(Image Via ayaran67)

Check out more of these incredibly accurate Japanese cosplayers over at Kotaku

08:30 First look: 'Heos by Denon' wireless speakers take Sonos head on» Engadget RSS Feed
Denon is no stranger to the home audio market. In fact it was making HiFi kit long before home streaming was even a thing. Times change, and new markets get new dominant players. For streaming, that means Sonos -- company Denon is tackling head-on...
08:18 Parkinson's Could Enhance Creativity» LiveScience.com
People with Parkinson's disease may have higher levels of creativity than their healthy peers, and these flights of fancy increase with higher doses of medication, new research finds.
08:14 They’re Here: Massive Mayfly Emergence in Wisconsin» WIRED
This amazing mass emergence is a giant orgy. And good news about water quality.

08:13 Astronauts Begin 9-Day Mission ... Under the Sea» LiveScience.com
Four astronauts traded in their spacesuits for scuba gear yesterday (July 21) and embarked on a nine-day mission at the bottom of the sea as part of NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project.
08:10 LEGO Volkswagen camper van» Boing Boing

LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van 10220

I am deeply tempted to build this beautiful model of the iconic 1962 VW camper van. I may hold out for a Vanagon, however.

08:05 NVIDIA Launches Tegra K1-Based SHIELD Tablet, Wireless Controller» Slashdot
MojoKid (1002251) writes NVIDIA just officially announced the SHIELD Tablet (powered by their Tegra K1 SoC) and SHIELD wireless controller. As the SHIELD branding implies, the new SHIELD tablet and wireless controller builds upon the previously-released, Android-based SHIELD portable to bring a gaming-oriented tablet to consumers. The SHIELD Tablet and wireless controller are somewhat of mashup of the SHIELD portable and the Tegra Note 7, but featuring updated technology and better build materials. You could think of the SHIELD Tablet and wireless controller as an upgraded SHIELD portable gaming device, with the screen de-coupled from the controller. The device features NVIDIA's Tegra K1 SoC, paired to 2GB of RAM and an 8", full-HD IPS display, with a native resolution of 1920x1200. There are also a pair of 5MP cameras on the SHIELD Tablet (front and rear), 802.11a/b/g/n 2x2 MIMO WiFi configuration, GPS, a 9-axis motion sensor, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. In addition to the WiFi-only version (which features 16GB of internal storage), NVIDIA has a 32GB version coming with LTE connectivity as well. NVIDIA will begin taking pre-orders for the SHIELD Tablet and wireless controller immediately.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

08:05 AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones» Slashdot
alphadogg (971356) writes "In its quest to help enterprises seek out and neutralize all threats to their Wi-Fi networks, AirMagnet is now looking to the skies. In a free software update to its AirMagnet Enterprise product last week, the Wi-Fi security division of Fluke Networks added code specifically crafted to detect the Parrot AR Drone, a popular unmanned aerial vehicle that costs a few hundred dollars and can be controlled using a smartphone or tablet. Drones themselves don't pose any special threat to Wi-Fi networks, and AirMagnet isn't issuing air pistols to its customers to shoot them down. The reason the craft are dangerous is that they can be modified to act as rogue access points and sent into range of a victim's wireless network, potentially breaking into a network to steal data."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

08:00 Bats Use Polarized Light As a Nighttime Compass» LiveScience.com
Generally, polarized light is something you wear sunglasses to avoid, but for bats, the glare is actually useful.
08:00 Cucco March - Why Did The Link Cross The Road?» Neatorama

Cucco March by Miski

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and if you play them a happy tune they might forgive you for throwing them around all these years! Link has mastered the art of chicken whispering with a jaunty tune, and when he's playing those sweet ocarina tunes the chickens march in time and help Link become a legend. Too bad Zelda's not around to watch all the fun!

This lighthearted Cucco March t-shirt by Miski is the fun way to show your love of classic video games, and no chickens were harmed in the making of this shirt so it's cruelty free!

Visit Miski's Facebook fan page, official website, Tumblr and Twitter, then head on over to her NeatoShop for more delightfully geeky designs:

Maneki MoogleThunder DogAurora DogVolcano Dog

View more designs by Miski | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

08:00 A Cat-mapping Lesson in Privacy» Neatorama

Owen Mundy of Florida State University created the website I Know Where Your Cat Lives, which is a lot like Cat Map, a now-defunct site that proved popular last year. You can look at a random cat and see where it’s from, or scan the map for cats near you. The cats on the map were found on the internet. And that’s the lesson behind the project. The cat’s location were found using the photograph’s metadata embedded at Flickr or Instagram.  

“I was using Instagram to photograph my 3-year-old and one day I realized that the app had been recording and embedding the geographic coordinates in my backyard,” he says. “I thought to myself, ‘I don't recall being asked by the app if I wanted to share this data.’ It was a creepy experience that I wanted to translate in a way that was equal parts scary and fun, but technically harmless.”

And since cats absolutely don’t understand the concept of privacy, this makes I Know Where Your Cat Lives an interesting test case for other areas of data analysis and visualization.

See, it’s a slightly less creepy way of letting you know how easy it is to track people from their online information. To that end, Mundy has made it very easy to remove your cat if you like, but he has also received submissions from people who want to add their cats. Read more about Mundy and his map at the daily Dot.

08:00 KeyPoint wants you to try its multilingual smart keyboard for iOS 8» Engadget RSS Feed
There's soon going to be a glut of custom keyboards for iOS 8, many of which will have word suggestions in multiple languages. However, they might not be as well-versed as KeyPoint Technologies' upcoming Adaptxt for iOS. Besides supporting over 100...
07:45 Jeans "designed" by tigers and lions» Boing Boing

Step 1: Wrap nice new jeans around tires. Step 2: Throw it to the cats. Step 3: Sell the remains.


l_1 l_4

07:45 Corpse mistaken for mannequin and tossed in dumpster.» Boing Boing
That's the second time this year this has happened in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa, Florida.
07:42 Next Big Thing You Missed: Bigger, Cheaper Fuel Cells Will Eliminate Power Outages» WIRED
General Electric wants to bring clean, reliable, efficient, and affordable energy to the masses, and in a rare move for the 122-year-old company, it's launching a startup to do it.

07:34 Chrome extension turns every instance of the word "cloud" into "butt"» Boing Boing
07:34 Google is adding free WiFi to Uber cars in Philadelphia, but only for the summer» Engadget RSS Feed
We have no scientific data to back this up, but we suspect most of you are not tough enough, not resilient enough, to work on a laptop in a moving vehicle without hurling. If you're that special sort, though -- or if you just like to have your phone...
07:30 Trompe-l'œil Animal Murals by Fiona Tang» Neatorama

Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang uses charcoal, chalk pastel and acrylics as her media to create these virbant murals that appear to be three dimensional at certain viewing angles. Tang achieves this effect using the ages-old artistic technique called trompe-l'œil (French for "deceive the eye"), which produces the optical illusion of third dimensionality.

See more of Tang's work on her Tumblr site and on Facebook.



07:26 Top-Secret British Combat Drone Gets Test Run» LiveScience.com
A prototype of a top-secret, unmanned British warplane, called Taranis, recently completed a second set of classified flight trials at an undisclosed location, according to the drone's builders.
07:11 Earth just experienced hottest June ever recorded» Boing Boing
"The heat was driven in large by part by the hottest ocean temperatures since recordkeeping began more than 130 years ago." Read the rest
07:07 Earth & Sky: Planets Align During Volcanic Eruption» LiveScience.com
A sunrise photograph shows an unusual volcano sending ash toward a conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon. Tanzania's Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only active volcano of its kind.
07:04 Evil click fraud bastards exploit MH17 victims' names for internet scams» Boing Boing
Click fraudsters "are setting up fake Facebook pages in the names of Australian MH17 victims to profit from a lucrative internet scam." Read the rest
07:00 Weird Al Yankovic, brand marketing genius» Boing Boing

In The Atlantic, a thinkpiece that actually made me think: "Weird" Al Yankovic's savvy internet distribution strategy, and how the artist has managed to create a powerful, enduring brand that began in the age of vinyl and FM radio. [HT: @alexismadrigal]

07:00 Over 30 financial institutions defrauded by phone apps used to intercept passwords» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 Nokia Lumia 820 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in ZenicaBy Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - More than 30 financial institutions in six countries have been defrauded by sophisticated criminal software that convinces bank customers to install rogue smartphone programs, a major security company reported on Tuesday. Though many of the elements of the malicious software, including the interception of one-time passwords sent to phones, have been used elsewhere, the latest criminal campaign is unusual in that it combines many different techniques and leaves few traces. Researchers at Trend Micro Inc, which dubbed the campaign Emmental after the Swiss cheese, said they were working with European police and major banks on the continent that were early victims. Banks in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan have all been hit, with damages somewhere in the millions of dollars, said Trend Micro Chief Cyber security Officer Tom Kellermann.

07:00 Adorable Superman and Wonder Woman Wedding» Neatorama

(Photo: Jacquelyn Philips Photography)

'Baby, you're my Wonder Woman.'

'Honey, you're a Superman to me.'

Reinesha and Devan must feel this way about each other because they had a superhero-themed wedding with Reinesha as the Princess of Themyscira and Devan as the Man of Steel. The entire wedding party was dressed appropriately for the event, including Wonder Woman eye makeup, Superman socks, and wedding rings for both of those characters. Reinesha and Devan are clearly DC superfans and deeply in love.

You can see more photos of their wedding here. I suggest that you do because the level of detail that they went to is really impressive.

They don't show the departure from the wedding, but we can safely assume that it was in an invisible jet heading for the Fortress of Solitude.

07:00 Atari's betting its future on gays and gamblers» Engadget RSS Feed
"If I had a hole in New Mexico, maybe that one [the Project Runway game] would have made it there." Todd Shallbetter, Atari's chief operating officer, is just joking of course. He's referencing the company's infamous 1983 move to bury countless...
06:57 MIT' Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generation» Slashdot
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. This new material is able to use 85 percent of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. i-e if scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

06:57 For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It» Slashdot
New submitter Tmackiller writes with an excerpt from VG247.com: The British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy, scrapping fuller punishment plans after branding them unworkable. Starting in 2015, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken. The scheme, named the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), is the result of years of talks between ISPs, British politicians and the movie and music industries. The UK's biggest providers – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky – have all signed up to VCAP, and smaller ISPs are expected to follow suit. VCAP replaces planned anti-piracy measures that included cutting users' internet connections and creating a database of file-sharers. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection." He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice." Officials will still work to close and stem funding to file-sharing sites, but the news appears to mean that the British authorities have abandoned legal enforcement of online media piracy. Figures recently published by Ofcom said that nearly a quarter of all UK downloads were of pirated content." Tmackiller wants to know "Will this result in more private lawsuits against file sharers by the companies involved?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

06:56 Hackers Could Take Control of Your Car. This Device Can Stop Them» WIRED
David Schwen | Wheel: Getty Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have proven more clearly than anyone in the world how vulnerable cars are to digital attack. Now they’re proposing the first step towards a solution. Last year the two Darpa-funded security researchers spent months cracking into a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius, terrifying […]

06:46 Why 'Pinocchio' May Not Teach Kids Honesty» LiveScience.com
Researchers found that positive-outcome bedtime stories are better at promoting honesty in children than negative-outcome stories.
06:33 The next Dance Central launches September 2nd on Xbox One» Engadget RSS Feed
So the Kinectless Xbox One has arrived, and you're now left wondering if the motion sensor from your launch-era system will ever be useful for more than starting games and taking orders from Aaron Paul. Thankfully, it should for at least a little...
06:30 High Speed Photos Of People Emerging From A Waterslide» Neatorama

There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues quite like taking a dip in the pool, and when the doggy paddling grows tiresome folks head to a good old fashioned water park for some water based thrills and spills.

Those who brave the waterslides normally don’t care much about commemorating their experience with a photo, but maybe they would if those souvenir shots looked like the delightful pics in Krista Long's series “I Love Summer”.

Each high speed shot depicts a slider emerging from the slide in their own unique way- some shoot out like old pros, while others flail their way back into the pool, looking like they barely escaped the slide with their lives.

It’s fun in the sun for your eyeballs!

-Via Junk Culture

06:22 Blog posts on article about Alibaba's China leadership links censored» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A man plays snooker in a hall inside Alibaba's headquarters in HangzhouMicroblog posts about a New York Times article on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's [IPO-BABA.N] close ties to descendants of China's leaders have been removed by censors, a censorship monitoring group said on Tuesday. Alibaba has been in the spotlight as it prepares its stock market listing - potentially the largest ever tech debut in the United States - particularly over its complicated web of affiliations and corporate governance. One censored post on the Weibo Corp microblog included a Chinese version of the New York Times piece, with the comment, "It's not only Yahoo and SoftBank behind Alibaba," Weiboscope, a University of Hong Kong project that publishes and analyses censored posts, said. Yahoo Inc, with a 22.5 percent stake in Alibaba, and SoftBank Corp with a 34.3 percent ownership are Alibaba's two biggest shareholders.

06:02 Is Antarctica Really Getting Icier? New Study Sparks Debate» LiveScience.com
Recent satellite data suggests that Antarctica's sea ice is expanding even as the Arctic heads toward an ice-free future. But a new study argues that much of the trend is a glitch in the data, not a real observation.
06:00 Weird Al’s “Mission Statement”» Neatorama

The final of the eight music videos released in eight days from Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun album is here. “Mission Statement” is every business meeting you’ve ever attended, full of gobbledygook that means nothing you can’t say in less than a minute. It’s all set to music reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s “Carry On” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” Yes, yesterday was the eighth day for the eighth video, but the Wall Street Journal had an exclusive and embargoed it for 24 hours. You can read about the making of the video there.

Oh, while, we’re at it, let’s go back and see the one that Pop Crush debuted and embargoed for a couple of days. Here’s “First World Problems.”

You can now see all eight videos anytime you like, and buy the album, at Weird Al Yankovic’s website.

06:00 NVIDIA's new Shield is a tablet built for gaming» Engadget RSS Feed
In January 2013, NVIDIA unveiled its first end-to-end consumer product: NVIDIA Shield. In our review, I wrote, "NVIDIA Shield is a truly strange device" One year later, that statement stands -- only now it applies to NVIDIA's second consumer product...
05:55 A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting» Slashdot
New submitter bnortman (922608) was the first to write in with word of "a new research paper discussing a new form of user fingerprinting and tracking for the web using the HTML 5 <canvas> ." globaljustin adds more from an article at Pro Publica: Canvas fingerprinting works by instructing the visitor's Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user's device a number that uniquely identifies it. ... The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code ... on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites. Most of the code was on websites that use the AddThis social media sharing tools. Other fingerprinters include the German digital marketer Ligatus and the Canadian dating site Plentyoffish. ... Rich Harris, chief executive of AddThis, said that the company began testing canvas fingerprinting earlier this year as a possible way to replace cookies ...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

05:38 Give your OnePlus One a bamboo back for $49» Engadget RSS Feed
The OnePlus One's a handsome little devil as is, but there's always room to accessorize. Though you're probably still waiting on the actual handset to turn up, OnePlus has announced the phone's first "SwapStyle" cover will arrive at the end of...
05:30 More Accurate Names for Everyday Objects» Neatorama

Doghouse Diaries has some excellent ideas. A beard really is just chest hair that overflows your chest as a result of your excessive manliness. And when it's early in the morning and the dog wants a walk, you can just use curtains for body coverage, right?

Reader challenge: in the comments, construct a grammatically correct sentence that uses all six of these terms.

05:10 Comcast's customer losses are slowing, which is no surprise since it's so hard to leave» Engadget RSS Feed
Even as cable giant Comcast tries to get bigger by absorbing Time Warner Cable, its own revenue grew in the last quarter to $16.8 billion, up 3.5 percent from last year, and net income hit $1.99 billion. The most important number for a subscription...
05:09 Israeli soldier reported missing in Gaza» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Military presumes the soldier is dead, as Israel's continued assault on Gaza raises the death toll to more than 607.
05:06 Comcast, Lionsgate add more app content for film buyers» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A Comcast sign is shown in San Francisco(Reuters) - Lions Gate Entertainment Corp will provide extra content through apps for dystopian thriller "Divergent" and other films to Comcast Corp customers who purchase digital versions of the film through Xfinity On Demand, the companies announced on Tuesday. The "Divergent" app will be available starting Tuesday on mobile devices and later on TV through Comcast's X1 set-top box. Lions Gate also plans to release bonus app content for future films with digital purchases through Xfinity, the companies said.

05:00 A Plea for Nostril Research» Neatorama

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We received this note via a scholarly e-mail discussion list, and immediately offered to aid Dr. Landry in his research. The text is reproduced here with Dr. Landry's blessing.]

(Image credit: Flickr user Jeff and Maggie G)


Currently I am in the middle stages of researching a project I'm calling Nostril Noster: Inside the Modern Nose. While scholars-Sander Gilman most significantly-have unraveled a complex history of medical formation of the outside of the nose (rhinoplasty etc.), the inside is terra incognita and for good reason, since the nostril plays such an ambiguous role in the history of the modern body. It is both an entry way and a barrier, an invitation for passage and a delicate mechanism for excluding entry. Because of this double nature, however, the nostril has attracted attention from fetishists, novelists, painters, as well as scientists and doctors.

We can date the beginning of the "medicalization" of the nostril rather precisely. While nasal prosthesis was not uncommon in earlier periods, Thomas Buchanan's 1823 invention of a working nasal catheter (key for drainage in cases of syphilis and extreme sinus infection) was, to my knowledge, the first successful medical intervention into the interior of the nose. Catheterization became common medical practice in physician's offices and sanitoria alike, and the nostril became a symbol of repellency in the human form. In the twentieth century, however, the nostril made a comeback. In particular, with Joseph Heitger's discovery of the hygienic function of the interior hairs, it became an emblem of artistic modernism, a site for renewed medical investigation, and, especially, an object for technological innovation.

05:00 A 30-Second Guide to Why Your Cable Company Owns Your Soul» Cracked: All Posts
By Evan V. Symon  Published: July 22nd, 2014  So you've decided to cancel your cable subscription -- maybe you're tired of all the shady crap these companies have been pulling recently, or maybe you figured out how to use that Netflixster thing your grandkids keep telling you about. In any case,
05:00 6 Widely Despised Foods (and How to Choke Them Down)» Cracked: All Posts
By Chris Bucholz  Published: July 22nd, 2014  Throughout my life, I have always been a bit of a picky eater. I can't explain how it happened, and frankly I think some of you should be explaining to me how the fuck you keep eating tomatoes. Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Creatas/Getty Images I suppose
05:00 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Rape on College Campuses» Cracked: All Posts
By J. F. Sargent  Published: July 22nd, 2014  Last weekend was pretty cool, because my alma mater was the subject of a front-page story in the New York Times. Unfortunately, they got there because they utterly shit the bed at handling a sexual assault case. Hi, I'm JF Sargent, and this is my com
05:00 5 Ridiculous Lies You Probably Believe About Psychology» Cracked: All Posts
By M. Merberg  Published: July 22nd, 2014  After a semester of intro to psychology and a dozen BuzzFeed quizzes, you might think you've got a pretty good understanding of how the human psyche works. Unfortunately, you're probably basing that assumption on a science that's less "science" and m
05:00 5 Animals That Are Clearly Keeping Other Animals as Pets» Cracked: All Posts
By E. Reid Ross  Published: July 22nd, 2014  Keeping a pet is the kind of asshole move that only humans could think up. Taking an otherwise wild creature, slapping a collar on it or sticking it in a cage, and making it dance for our pleasure? That shit would never work in the animal kingdom, wh
04:48 Verizon enjoys a rush of new tablet users as smartphone plans stagnate (updated)» Engadget RSS Feed
Verizon's money machine continues to plow on, but much of its wireless growth this quarter came from tablets, not smartphones -- a trend that started last quarter. Big Red added some 1.4 million net retail connections, of which a whopping 1.15...
04:30 Boko Haram attacks hometown of missing girls» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Eleven parents of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have died since daughters went missing, as Chibok remains under siege.
04:00 Top Ten Ways To Hack Your Grill» Neatorama

It's summertime, which means a lot of people will be grillin’ and chillin’, and whether you’re a grill master or you’re still too scared to light your own coals you’re bound to find something useful on this Lifehacker list Top 10 Ways To Hack Your Grill.

The hacks range from simple- use your grill as a smoker by adding an aluminum tray of water, which helps keep the meat moist during the lengthy process, to more complicated- converting a Weber grill into a portable pizza oven:

The mostly simple yet always informative articles that make up this top ten list will help you step up your barbecuing game, and may inspire you to host a BBQ of your own so you can share some great grilled grub!

03:49 11 Trippy Illustrations of History’s Most Infamous Computer Viruses» WIRED
Malware isn’t meant to be entertaining, and yet, many of the viruses that sneak their way into our computers are really just malicious displays of extreme creativity.

03:49 This Computerized Exoskeleton Could Help Millions of People Walk Again» WIRED
The ReWalk is the first bionic exoskeleton approved by the FDA for personal use. Here's the story of how it came to be.

03:49 Your Summer Isn’t Complete Without This Gigantic Hammock» WIRED
The Mega Hammock measures 8 x 15 feet and is hand-crafted from ripstop nylon and black webbing by an FAA certified parachute rigger. Oh, and it'll fit three people.

03:49 Turns Out It’s Pretty Easy to Shoot Down a Passenger Jet» WIRED
Whoever fired a missile at Malaysia Flight 17 could have learned to do so in less than a week.

03:33 What’s Up With That: Why Does Sleeping In Just Make Me More Tired?» WIRED
Oversleep causes a feeling similar to feeling hung over and it's caused by the same biological function that gives you jet lag.

03:33 Valiant Hearts Turns the Horrors of WWI Into a Puzzle Game» WIRED
Ubisoft's new game teaches about World War I through the mechanics of a side-scrolling puzzle game.

03:33 The Quest to Make a Studio-Quality Star Trek Movie on a Kickstarter Budget» WIRED
It's scheduled to wrap production in the fall, stars well-known actors, and boasts a deep bench of design and production talent. But this one won't be co-starring Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana.

03:33 Why Your Phone Freaks Out When You Get Off a Plane» WIRED
Every time you step off of an airplane, there's a fight going on inside your mobile phone. It's a war for dominance, and it plays out in airports across the world. The casualties are dropped calls, and Paula Doublin is one of the generals.

03:33 Mourning the Death of the Great American Roadside Motel» WIRED
Before all the old mom-and-pop roadside motels disappear, photographer Eric Cousineau has made it his mission to preserve at least some of them on film. For over a decade he's crisscrossed the United States, visiting dozens for a series he calls, appropriately, American Motel.

03:33 A Startup Creating a Hyper-Smart Office That Tracks Everything» WIRED
Using Robin's system an office drone can walk into a meeting room and feel like a queen.

03:33 Why It Took So Long for the World’s Fiercest Supercars to Go Hybrid» WIRED
Bugatti’s next car will be a hybrid. It’s not surprising that the proud manufacturer of the Veyron Super Sport, the king of all excessive automobiles, is taking a route that makes most people think of the dinky eco-mobiles and their self-satisfied owners. It’s surprising that it has taken it this long to do so.

03:29 Brain disease kills scores in India's east» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
Outbreak of encephalitis kills 60 people in two weeks in West Bengal state, top health official says.
03:28 Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time» Engadget RSS Feed
So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs is required to prevent its...
03:26 Deadly suicide blast hits Afghanistan» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
At least four people have been killed in an attack on a police compound in Kabul.
02:57 UK orders inquiry into death of ex-Soviet spy» AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)
British government announces official investigation into the poisoning of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko.
02:40 Print Isn't Dead: How Linux Voice Crowdfunded a New Magazine» Slashdot
M-Saunders (706738) writes The death of print has been predicted for years, and many magazines and publishers have taken a big hit with the rise of eBooks and tablets. But not everyone has given up. Four geeks quit their job at an old Linux magazine to start Linux Voice, an independent GNU/Linux print and digital mag with a different publishing model: giving profits and content back to the community. Six months after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the magazine is going well, so here is the full story.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02:35 Totes amazeballs added to the dictionary, because YOLO» Engadget RSS Feed
When dictionary makers use internet slang, we always feel the same as if our parents had gotten a Justin Bieber tattoo. Chambers Dictionary is the latest wordy tome to get an update for 2014, which now includes YOLO, Bitcoin and totes amazeballs as...
01:40 Xiaomi's $13 fitness band can also unlock your phone» Engadget RSS Feed
The "one more thing" at the Xiaomi Mi 4 launch was the Mi Band, the Chinese company's first smart wearable, and it's obviously aggressively priced: Just CN¥79 or about $13! Like many of its competitors, the Mi Band tracks your movement (walking or...
01:29 Photos of rotting WWII sea-forts» Boing Boing

Salim writes, "James Creedy hitched a ride with Project Red-Sands to take this set of photos from a these WWII era sea-forts."

Read the rest

01:27 Blogging History: Expiring 3DP patents; Cat burglar in my street; 9/11 commission report published» Boing Boing

One year ago today Get ready for the big bang as 3D printing patents expire: The key patents covering a 3D printing technique called "laser sintering" are set to expire in the next year or two -- there are a bunch of them, so they'll trickle out -- and this will radically reduce the price of printing and printers.

Read the rest
01:24 Anatomically correct bra and panties» Boing Boing

Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Own Anatomy? is Eleanor Beth Haswell's senior art project, a feminist fashion intervention. Read the rest

01:19 Ocala, FL criminalizes sagging pants» Boing Boing

If you're on city property and your pants hang more than 2" below your "natural waistline," you face a $500 fine, and for repeat offenders, jail. Read the rest

01:15 Fukushima's Ice Wall Makes Sense» LiveScience.com
Engineers at Fukushima nuclear power plant have been trying to create a £185m ice wall to isolate contaminated water from mixing with groundwater.
01:15 Haunted Mansion/Batman mashup tees» Boing Boing
01:06 Identifying Bodies From MH17 is a Challenge For Forensics (Op-Ed)» LiveScience.com
Disaster victim identification (DVI) is a difficult task, but will be made more challenging in this instance given the delays in body recovery and the interference of the crash site that is said to span over a 10km area including within a combat zone.
01:04 Infamous SF "eviction" lawfirm abuses DMCA to censor video of protest» Boing Boing

The offices of Bornstein and Bornstein are notorious for running "boot camps" advising San Francisco landlords on legal loopholes for evicting long-term tenants so they can rent to the high-flying tech sector. Read the rest

00:49 Only Zoo Keepers Get to Feed the Penguins (Op-Ed)» LiveScience.com
Zoo keepers have an interesting job — some days you cuddle with endangered species, others you just try not to get bitten.
00:35 Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More» Slashdot
An anonymous reader writes The Economist reports, "'UNDER capitalism', ran the old Soviet-era joke, 'man exploits man. Under communism it is just the opposite.' In fact new research suggests that the Soviet system inspired not just sarcasm but cheating too: in East Germany, at least, communism appears to have inculcated moral laxity. Lars Hornuf of the University of Munich and Dan Ariely, Ximena García-Rada and Heather Mann of Duke University ran an experiment last year to test Germans' willingness to lie for personal gain. Some 250 Berliners were randomly selected to take part in a game where they could win up to €6 ($8). ... The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism. They also looked at how much time people had spent in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The longer the participants had been exposed to socialism, the greater the likelihood that they would claim improbable numbers ... when it comes to ethics, a capitalist upbringing appears to trump a socialist one."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

00:24 Loggerhead Turtles Swim to Safety (Images)» LiveScience.com
Loggerhead turtles inspire largest-ever U.S. critical habitat zone.
00:22 Largest-Ever U.S. 'Critical Habitat' Set for Loggerheads» LiveScience.com
Huge swaths of sea are now protected, thanks to sea turtles.
00:04 California Highway Patrol seize medical records of woman beaten by cop» Boing Boing

It's a damning turn of events in the horrible saga; after one of its officers was caught on video repeatedly smashing a homeless woman in the face, the force went to a psychiatric ward and seized her medical records. Read the rest

00:00 Woman Writes to Advice Columnist to Brag about How Awesome Her Boyfriend Is» Neatorama

(Image: unknown)

I think that the term for this note is "humblebrag." She knows that she's found an absolute keeper and is acting concerned as a way to show off her man. I can't really blame her.

Dear Perplexed: 

What should you do? Marry him, of course!


-via Pleated Jeans

P.S. For a while, I've suspected that Neatorama would do well to have an advice column. What do you think?

Mon 21 July, 2014

23:53 How to write like a 17th century doctor» Boing Boing

Mark CK researched doctor's journals and writings from the 17th and 18th centuries while working on a book about pirate surgeons and reports back with a guide to writing in the style of the day, which involves a lot of bad Latin, irregular spelling, and extra letters used as emphasis. Read the rest

23:36 New Schizophrenia Gene Links Uncovered » LiveScience.com
Researchers have identified 83 new gene variants that are linked with the risk of schizophrenia, according to a new study. Many of the gene variations are common, and are found in healthy people, the researchers said.
23:00 Integrating Into the 'Internet of Things' (Op-Ed) » LiveScience.com
Think before you connect your A/C to the Internet of Things.
22:38 When is Sleepiness Due to Narcolepsy?» LiveScience.com
Narcolepsy is real, and serious — one of many sleep disorders that afflict Americans.
22:00 Elephant Retrieves Dropped Camera for His Passengers» Neatorama

YouTube Link

If you happen to be at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe and choose this elephant as your method of transportation, have no fear if you happen to drop any personal items during your ride. Trunk pickup service is included! Now that's customer service! Via 22 Words.

21:25 MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures» Slashdot
Lasrick (2629253) writes In a controversial article last week, MIT physicist Ted Postol again questioned whether Israel's vaunted Iron Dome rocket defense system actually works. This week, he comes back with evidence in the form of diagrams, photos of Iron Dome intercepts and contrails, and evidence on the ground to show that Iron Dome in fact is effective only about 5% of the time. Postol believes the real reason there are so few Israeli casualties is that Hamas rockets have very small warheads (only 10 to 20 pounds), and also Israel's outstanding civil defense system, which includes a vast system of shelters and an incredibly sophisticated rocket attack warning system (delivered through smart phones, among other ways).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

21:20 The Boundary-Pushing Novelist Who’s Made Twitter His New Medium» WIRED
Keira Rathbone Teju Cole was stuck in traffic in Mumbai when an idea came to him. He had recently written a short story and he thought, why not share it in tweets? Cole is the author of two books of fiction, Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. He's also a prolific voice […]

21:20 Musical Instruments» WIRED
Elsa Jenna Your phone is now a recording studio, a music school, and a Guitar Center. Thousands of music apps enable you to do everything from autotune your voicemail greeting to compose a symphony. But it turns out that when you talk to professional musicians about what they use to create and perform music, their […]

21:20 Mobile App Design: Tricks of the Trade» WIRED
It's an unsung form of creativity in the smartphone age: the thoughtful design of our mobile apps. What follow are lessons from three different UX designers about how to master mobile. TIPS ON MOBILE GAME DESIGN FROM ANDERS HEJDENBERG Designer 1337 & Senri Gothenburg, Sweden Elsa Jenna Make Chunks A game's vivid background art can […]

21:20 The Woman Behind Vine’s Most Incredible Animated Dreamscapes» WIRED
Maciek Jasik For 13 years, Manhattan photographer Meagan Cignoli worked to capture the perfect moment. But now she's also trying to make those moments move—weaving them together on Vine, Twitter's app for sharing six-second videos shot on phones. Her movies, tiny animations that unfold into absurd, diorama-like dreamscapes, became an instant hit with fans; she […]

21:20 On the Prowl With Instagram’s Ultimate Street Photographer» WIRED
Maciek Jasik It's bright but cold and the yellow cabs and skyscrapers are on some Big Apple snow-globe shit—the whole thing looks like a Hollywood back lot. Fifty-third and Fifth Avenue is an aggressively New York corner and one I usually avoid for reasons of: It's gross. At 11 am on a Friday the workers […]

21:20 How the Weird Art of Food Photography Went Mainstream» WIRED
When Adam Goldberg lived in Paris in 2007, the food blogger puzzled his fellow restaurant patrons whenever he whipped out his bulky SLR camera to document a dish. Seven years later, though, the prospect of a diner photographing their meal is commonplace. Even foodies with nothing more than a smartphone and negligible skills are crafting […]

21:20 The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect» WIRED
David Sparshott Invoke the word autocorrect and most people will think immediately of its hiccups—the sort of hysterical, impossible errors one finds collected on sites like Damn You Autocorrect. But despite the inadvertent hilarity, the real marvel of our mobile text-correction systems is how astoundingly good they are. It's not too much of an exaggeration […]

21:00 My Neighbor the Wild Thing - A Rumpus At The Bus Stop» Neatorama

My Neighbor the Wild Thing by Jalop

You never know who you'll run into while you're waiting for the bus, you might run into a friendly neighbor, a giant grinning cat or one of those wild things that live next door. Where are you headed on this stormy night Max? Why, to take in a parade, of course!

Take your geeky wardrobe for a walk on the wild side with this My Neighbor the Wild Thing t-shirt by Jalop, it's the perfect shirt to sport while you're taking part in a wild rumpus or simply lounging around with a good book.

Visit Jalop's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more totally wild designs:

BurningNekobus TravelFamily of WolvesWhisper

View more designs by Jalop | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

21:00 A Millennium after Inventing the Game, The Iroquois Are Becoming a Lacrosse Superpower» Neatorama

(Photo: Iroquois Nationals)

The sport of Lacrosse is of Native American origin. The Iroquois (or Haudenosaunee), a collection of six Native American nations in the United States and Canada, claim to have invented it. They maintain their own national team known as the Iroquois Nationals. They are very good, especially considering that they're working from a small population base: about 120,000 people. In fact, they missed the 2010 World Championships only because they insisted on travelling under their own national passports, which are not internationally recognized.

For many Iroquois, success at lacrosse is a source of pride:

For these men the game is not always about winning. It’s very much rooted in culture and tradition. It is also referred to as the Creator’s Game, Hill said.  “I’ve been raised to play with a clear mind and to respect my opponents. We play for the Creator’s enjoyment because he gave it to us.”

“It’s a spiritual game and a medicine game first,” said Ward. “When you pick up your stick it’s got to be an extension of you.”

And those traditional sticks became a point of contention in Sunday’s game. In front of a sold-out crowd, Team Canada nosed the Nationals out by a goal scored with 19 seconds left in the game.

The Nationals use the traditional hickory sticks, which are heavier than the contemporary plastic and titanium sticks used by Team Canada. Following penalty calls against the Nationals during the game, the ESPN announcer contended that the wooden stick should be illegal in international competition, adding that it should never be used as a weapon.

Those hickory lacrosse sticks are controversial. Each one is four times heavier than a plastic and aluminum stick:

It’s “like a friggin' weapon. It nearly kills you,” a former Iroquois national player told Sports Illustrated in 2010. “I feel I'm more of a threat with a wooden stick. You can just see it in the other team,” Iroquois defenseman Kevin Bucktooth said. “When the ball swings around to your man, they never come in one-on-one.”

-via Popehat

20:00 The Long Shadow Of The Manhattan Project» Neatorama

World Science Festival published a two-part article about the Manhattan Project. The first part talked about the science of the atom bomb. Today, they look at the ethics of the Manhattan Project, nuclear weapons, and the nuclear power industry that grew out of it. In the 1940s, those who worked to develop the bomb had few, if any, qualms about what they were doing. After all, they were in a World War that dragged on for years, and their aim was to end it.   

Was dropping atomic bombs on Japan really necessary to end the war? The debate may never end. The earliest version of the story told in the West was that the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the final straws for Japan, and averted what would have been a costly ground invasion by the Allies. In the 1960s, another group of historians began arguing that Japan was already about to surrender before the bombs were dropped, and the mushroom clouds were instead meant by U.S. President Harry S. Truman to intimidate America’s friends of convenience in the U.S.S.R. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a University of California, Santa Barbara historian, offers a third explanation: It was the Soviets’ declaration of war that prompted Japan to bend, and surrendering to America was the best way for the nation to hold onto its lands and maintain the position of the Imperial family.

Whether or not the bomb was a deciding factor in the end of World War II, the sheer unprecedented power of the bomb planted doubts in minds at the highest levels of the Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer, for one, said that Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not weigh on his conscience personally, but that he did sense a sea change in science, and the world at large. “In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatements can quite extinguish,” Oppenheimer said in a 1947 lecture, “the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.”

Following the war, nuclear bomb tests continued, and the technology was developed to use for power generation. But nuclear power generation may still prove to be more dangerous than bombs. Read the rest of the story at World Science Festival.

19:24 No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months» Slashdot
theodp (442580) writes So, what does Microsoft do for an encore after laying off 18,000 employees with a hilariously bad memo? Issue another bad memo — Changes to Microsoft Network and Building Access for External Staff — "to introduce a new policy [retroactive to July 1] that will better protect our Microsoft IP and confidential information." How so? "The policy change affects [only] US-based external staff (including Agency Temporaries, Vendors and Business Guests)," Microsoft adds, "and limits their access to Microsoft buildings and the Microsoft corporate network to a period of 18 months, with a required six-month break before access may be granted again." Suppose Microsoft feels that's where the NSA went wrong with Edward Snowden? And if any soon-to-be-terminated Microsoft employees hope to latch on to a job with a Microsoft external vendor to keep their income flowing, they best think again. "Any Microsoft employee who separated from Microsoft on or after July 1, 2014," the kick-em-while-they're-down memo explains, "will be required to take a minimum 6-month break from access between the day the employee separates from Microsoft and the date when the former employee may begin an assignment as an External Staff performing services for Microsoft." Likely not just to prevent leaks, but also to prevent any contractors from being reclassified as employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19:00 Old Man Shocks Everyone at Wedding with His Dancing Skills» Neatorama

(Video Link)

He may need canes to walk, but not to dance! Watch this old man put the younger folks to shame with his mastery of the dance floor. You can join him, but I doubt you can keep up with his moves and speed.

-via Huffington Post

18:00 My Little Pony Sword» Neatorama

DeviantART member jablechien marked a sword with the cutie mark and traditional icon of Princess Luna, a character on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He did so by applying acrylic paint with a toothpick.

(Image: Hasbro Studios)

Jablechien writes that he did this "for the glory of the New Lunar Republic!" This is a reference to a major body of fan fiction which places Luna (pictured above) and her sister Princess Celestia at war with each other.

My position on this as a brony: in keeping with the 34th Rule of Acquisition, stay neutral in this conflict and sell weapons to both sides.

17:11 Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet» Slashdot
Presto Vivace (882157) writes It seems that Murdoch's desire to acquire Time Warner predates his acquisition of Fox, and continues in spite of Time Warner's recent refusal. The possible deal is important in and of itself, but it also affects the future leadership of Fox. From the article: "Murdoch's skill is not just hiring the right people; he has been able to maintain control over them. They have his support as long as they produce results. His executives are the hired help. There is never any threat to his control. When a Murdoch favourite begins to get more headlines than the chairman, the clock begins ticking for their departure. But with the Time Warner bid, that balance may change. Chase Carey has put together a deal that, because of Murdoch's history, is almost irresistible to him. But it's a deal only Carey can put together. If he succeeds, the $US160 billion company that will emerge will be an ungainly beast that will depend on Carey making the merger work. He's indispensable." Clearly we have not heard the last of this.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17:11 Mimicking Vesicle Fusion To Make Gold Nanoparticles Easily Penetrate Cells» Slashdot
rtoz (2530056) writes A special class of tiny gold particles can easily slip through cell membranes, making them good candidates to deliver drugs directly to target cells. A new study from MIT materials scientists reveals that these nanoparticles enter cells by taking advantage of a route normally used in vesicle-vesicle fusion, a crucial process that allows signal transmission between neurons. MIT engineers created simulations of how a gold nanoparticle coated with special molecules can penetrate a membrane. Paper (abstract; full text paywalled).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17:00 Visiting the Home of Safety» Neatorama

(YouTube link)

Chris Grava did a semester abroad at Cape Town University in South Africa. When his term was almost up, his brother Nick went there to spend two weeks. Nick ended up staying permanently to work at the Home of Safety in Khayelitsha, a foster home for orphans and vulnerable children, where he is now managing director. Chris and his parents visit when they can, and when Chris recently went for a visit, he was wearing his GoPro camera. The joy on the kids’ faces at seeing their old friend is a treat, and pretty soon the youngsters had to try out the camera for themselves. Learn more about Nick Grava’s work in South Africa at Intsikelelo. -via reddit

16:10 The Loophole Obscuring Facebook and Google's Transparency Reports» Slashdot
Jason Koebler writes The number of law enforcement requests coming from Canada for information from companies like Facebook and Google are often inaccurate thanks to a little-known loophole that lumps them in with U.S. numbers. For example, law enforcement and government agencies in Canada made 366 requests for Facebook user data in 2013, according to the social network's transparency reports. But that's not the total number. An additional 16 requests are missing, counted instead with U.S. requests thanks to a law that lets Canadian agencies make requests with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

16:00 Icebergs of the Antarctic: A Photo Series» Neatorama

These gorgeous captures were shot by nature and wildlife photographer Martin Bailey for his Antarctica photography series.

Born and raised in England, the photographer is now a Japanese national based in Tokyo. 
As one might imagine, a nature and wildlife photographer is driven by a passion for travel and the beauty of the natural world. His passion is evident in this series, which features ice structures, some of which are 1,000 years old. 

Martin Bailey sells prints, which can be perused and purchased at his website; he also does private portrait and commercial works on commission. Visit Bailey's site to see more of this stunning series. Via Trend Hunter.   

15:25 Women Who are Ambivalent about Women Against Women Against Feminism» The Bloggess
So...yeah.  Right now there’s a lot of talk about a tumblr called WomenAgainstFeminism.  It’s just pictures of some women holding up handwritten signs entitled “I don’t need feminism because...”  Some of the reasons they give for not needing feminism almost seem … Continue reading
15:21 Talk on cracking Internet anonymity service Tor canceled» Internet News Headlines - Yahoo! News
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Internet privacy service Tor was withdrawn from the upcoming Black Hat security conference, a spokeswoman for the event said on Monday. The talk was canceled at the request of attorneys for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where the speakers work as researchers, the spokeswoman, Meredith Corley, told Reuters. The Black Hat conference, one of the longest-running and best-attended security trade shows in the world, is scheduled for Las Vegas August 6-7. Corley said a Carnegie Mellon attorney informed Black Hat that one of the speakers could not give the Tor talk because the materials he would discuss have not been approved for public release by the university or the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).
15:10 NASA Names Building For Neil Armstrong» Slashdot
An anonymous reader writes A building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Apollo astronauts once trained, was named in honor of astronaut Neil Armstrong. Armstrong, who died in 2012, was remembered at a ceremony as not only an astronaut, but also as an aerospace engineer, test pilot, and university professor. NASA renamed the Operations and Checkout building, also known as the O&C, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been the last stop for astronauts before their flights since 1965. It was also used to test and process Apollo spacecraft. Currently, it's where the Orion spacecraft is being assembled to send astronauts to an asteroid and later to Mars.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15:00 The Love Series» Neatorama

Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils began a series of comics over a year ago that addresses the nature of love based on quotes from not-so-ancient philosophers such as C.S. Lewis, Albert Camus, and William Shakespeare. This is an excerpt from part one, which actually gets better as it goes along. Part two continues the relationship, and part three was supposed to be hopeful, but upset many loyal readers. Particularly Mrs. Zen Pencils. So eight months later, part four was published today as a gift to Than’s wife, and is a delight to those who have been wondering what happened to the characters. Each comic can stand alone. Will there be more installments? I hope so!  

See also: Jim Henson's Advice in Cartoon Form.

14:28 Republicans Google 'Climate Change' During Extreme Weather» LiveScience.com
During extreme or unusual weather, Americans' political leanings seem to influence their Internet searches about the climate, new research suggests.
14:26 Probiotics May Lower Blood Pressure» LiveScience.com
Eating food with "good bacteria" or taking probiotics supplements may help reduce blood pressure, according to a new analysis.
14:07 The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast» Slashdot
redletterdave writes Dan Petro, a security analyst for the Bishop Fox IT consulting firm, built a proof of concept device that's able to hack into any Google Chromecasts nearby to project Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," or any other video a prankster might choose. The "Rickmote," which is built on top of the $35 Raspberry Pi single board computer, finds a local Chromecast device, boots it off the network, and then takes over the screen with multimedia of one's choosing. But it gets worse for the victims: If the hacker leaves the range of the device, there's no way to regain control of the Chromecast. Unfortunately for Google, this is a rather serious issue with the Chromecast device that's not too easy to fix, as the configuration process is an essential part of the Chromecast experience.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.